Cross country hungry to move on to nationals

Redshirt senior Brown wants to break 21 minutes in Friday’s race



The men’s cross country team competing in the race at the WSU Open on Aug. 30 at Colfax Golf Course.

SHAYNE TAYLOR, Evergreen reporter

WSU cross country will host the NCAA Western Regional on Friday and look to achieve the top ten finish that has been preached throughout practice.

During the Pac-12 Championships, the women finished in tenth overall and the men, who are ranked tenth in the west region crossed the line with a sixth-place finish.

Redshirt senior Josie Brown who finished with a time of 21:02.2 in the Pac-12 Championships, said that her goal is to break 21 minutes in the upcoming race and the fact that they are hosting this year makes her feel that much better about the goal.

Brown said the team has been talking about finishing in the top 10 in this race throughout the last few weeks and the fact that this is her senior year makes her that much hungrier to achieve it.

“This year has flown by and I just really want to end on a good note,” Brown said. “If we can just get a top 10 finish at regionals that would be really awesome.”

The positive atmosphere is something Brown said has enabled everybody on the team to take on a leadership role of some sort and said that the coaching staff has helped her grow individually.

“They really instill confidence in me,” Brown said. “They have faith in what we can do and so that really propels the whole team.”

Senior Justin Janke who is coming off a 24:09.6 performance in the Pac-12 Championships said that as he is approaching the final races in his WSU career, the feeling is surreal but at the same time it is time to put it all out there.

“There is no bars to hold me back for this upcoming meet,” Janke said. “There is nothing to hold us back, we are just out there to get it.”

Janke said he has not been satisfied with his performances up to this point, but the support he has received from Coach Wayne Phipps has motivated him to feel great about the odds of him putting up his best numbers at the Western Regionals.

“Even when I was having a hard time finding faith and hope in myself he was there to remind me what I was capable of,” Janke said.

Janke said that getting to nationals is the main goal that the cross-country team has in mind and that keeping pace with some of the powerhouses in the region is key.

“Our region is stacked with teams that historically get top 10 finishes in nationals so for us to go that is where we need to be,” Janke said. “I totally think we can. I am very confident in our team right now and what I think we can do.”

WSU will start the race at 11:30 a.m. on Friday at the Colfax Golf Club in Colfax.